Sarah Aldridge

Sarah Aldridge

Queensland University of Technology
Business Consultant
Sarah studied Bachelor of Business with dual major in Management and Public Relations and now taking up Masters of Business Administration at the Queensland University of Technology.

About you

What did you study at undergraduate and postgraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now (if applicable)? Are you studying and working at the same time?

Undergrad Degree: Bachelor of Business, Dual Major in Management and Public Relations, graduating in 2008. Postgrad Degree: Masters of Business Administration, commenced in September 2017, expected completion 2020. Currently studying part time and working full time.

Please list the most important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)

  • Graduating High School
  • Graduating University
  • Developing my career path and vision, starting my career and achieving the milestones I had anticipated, from building my experience and skills in the workplace and in varied roles, successfully achieving a management role, achieving and surpassing the 6 figure salary bracket, being involved in building a pilot business from scratch and continuing to extend and grow my experience and skill set in different industries and businesses.

How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and for how long have you occupied it (if applicable)?

I applied for another role in the same organisation through Seek, was interviewed and unfortunately was not successful in my application for that role, but was offered an alternate position in the organisation as a result of the interview process. My tenure with the business was 6.5 years, having the opportunity to hold a variety or roles. 

About your course

What made you decide to progress with further study?

To remain competitive and advance in the Strategy and Business Planning industry that I work in, a postgrad qualification is critical. This was a main driver of my decision, however I had always wanted to continue my studies as life long learning is something that I am a great fan of and thoroughly enjoy. I finally made the decision that there was never going to be a perfect time, and I just had to start and make it work. 

How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?

The MBA qualification that I chose was a natural progression from my undergrad study. I weighed up the alternative choices of starting a more targeted / specific focus masters, such as Strategy, Project Management or Finance, however the more generalised Masters of Business Administration gave me the most options in my career path.

What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?

The process was to either attend an information night or contact the university through the online enrolment platform to start the conversation. From there you were to provide your academic history, and meet the Grade Point Average prerequisite. From there you needed to attend an initial interview with a member of staff to discuss the course and your plans / strategies. As my GPA from my undergrad was borderline, I also attended an interview with the Dean prior to being accepted into the course. 

What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)

My study involves attending a 3 hour tutorial style lecture on one evening every week as a minimum requirement. The first thing I do in the mornings when I get up is cover at least 45 minutes of my required readings and preparation for the next week's lecture, or review of the previous week's content. When assessments are due, I will generally work on those at night. If the assessment is a team based activity, I will go into uni either before a lecture, stay after the lecture or go in on weekends to meet with the group and complete the work. 

Pros and cons

Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.

Yes, the course will be beneficial to my career. Apart from the fact that it evidences my continual drive to increase my skills and improve my knowledge base, it is a prerequisite and therefore necessary to move into senior management positions or even C level, backed up by the appropriate experience. 

What do you love the most about your course?

Networking and interaction with others in the same or very similar situation to yourself, bouncing ideas of them, getting feedback or challenges on certain points or ideas, having a different perspective presented from a different industry or situation. Also the feedback from industry experts (the lecturers) on ideas, theories and approaches.

What are the limitations of your course?

Limited contact, interaction or application of theories or approaches in the 'real world' other than testing out these in your own organisation. It would be really helpful to be able to test these in different organisations, situations, industries or connect with other companies outside of the one that you work in. There are study tours, but this is in an entirely new market and culture, which may not give you the same quality of experience as connecting in your own market. 

A word to the wise…

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.

  1. Ask for help where you need it. There are support services out there, and many times they are free of charge, if you need them, use them!
  2. Despite what some people might say, your results do matter.
  3. Take every opportunity to build your network, you never know when those contacts might be able to help you.